More than 2.5 million people are without power in Florida as Tropical Storm Ian lashes the state.
The major storm made landfall Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane. It was downgraded to a Category 1 late Wednesday evening and then to a tropical storm early Thursday morning.
In the morning — around 5 a.m. — reported outages totaled approximately 35,000, according to PowerOutage.us.
The majority of the outages were in Lee, Collier and Sarasota counties.
HURRICANE IAN STRENGTHENS TO ‘EXTREMELY DANGEROUS’ CATEGORY 4 STORM, TO MAKE FLORIDA LANDFALL WEDNESDAY
At one point, Ian was just shy of a Category 5 storm — and Gov. Ron DeSantis told residents Wednesday that it was too late to evacuate.
“If you are in any of those counties, it’s no longer possible to safely evacuate. It’s time to hunker down and prepare for this storm,” he urged.
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“This is going to be a nasty, nasty day, two days… So, this is going to be a rough stretch,” DeSantis said.
The National Hurricane Center said Wednesday that Ian would cause catastrophic storm surge, winds and flooding in Florida.
HURRICANE IAN DISRUPTS MAJOR CRUISE LINE ITINERARIES
The storm was located about 55 miles west-southwest of Naples, Florida, with maximum sustained winds at 155 miles per hour, as of 9 a.m. ET Wednesday.
A storm surge warning was in effect for Suwannee River southward to Flamingo, Tampa Bay, the lower Florida Keys, Dry Tortugas, St. Johns River and the Flagler/Volusia Line to the mouth of the St. Mary’s River.
The combination of storm surge and tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by waters moving inland.
FOX Business’ Julia Musto contributed to this report.
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